Cup of tea

My mother is a prime example of order.
How she arranges the kitchen or makes the
Grocery list – milk powder, salted fish 
Dhal, rice and a little packet of salty pappadams
And whenever I go shopping with her
I’m always amazed at her patience, calmly, like an old Austin car,
Going through the racks in first gear.

She will look first at the item, check the prize,
And slowly put it on the trolley and if it is a little pricey
– Beyond her expectation –
She will put it back where it belongs.
She will always buy Harischandra Pappadam,
A popular brand that I like in particular, and will always
Buy vegetables to stock for a week.
And by habit, my mom will start a conversation with the cashier
Slowly putting item by item on the counter,
Smiling for the simple pleasure it gives.

And thanks to her fine example, I finally
Know how to smell the roses.
You can say I exchanged my Ferrari for an Austin.
Now I see things I couldn’t see before.
The kingfisher in the front yard, the yellow butterflies,
The wonderful messages painted on rickshaws, and even
My grey hairs I slowly comb in front of the mirror.
It seems I’m an anti-thesis of who I was.

Now I laze my way through a cup of tea in the morning,
Too aloof on most days to ever realize,

The tea had gone cold an hour ago


Published by

meandererworld (Dilantha Gunawardana)

Dr Dilantha Gunawardana is a molecular biologist, who graduated from the University of Melbourne. He moonlights as a poet. Dilantha wrote his first poem at the ripe age of 32 and now has more than 1700 poems on his blog. His poems have been accepted/published in Forage, Kitaab, Eastlit, American Journal of Poetry and Ravens Perch, among others. He was also awarded the prize for "The emerging writer of the year - 2016" in the Godage National Literary Awards, Sri Lanka for his first collection of poems (Kite Dreams – A Sarasavi Publication), while being shortlisted for the poetry prize. Dilantha is a dual citizen of Sri Lanka and Australia, and shares his experiences from two different cultures. He blogs at - https://meandererworld.

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